The reopening of non-essential retail across England saw long queues line the pavements of many retailers, including Primark.
The major clothing chain has made changes to the opening hours of many of its stores across the country to ease any potential congestion.
Shoppers keen to get back to the high street will still have to abide by social distancing rules, wear face coverings in store and regularly sanitise hands.
It is the latest relaxing of the Covid lockdown rules outlined by prime minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap, which also sees gyms, hairdressers and pub beer gardens reopen.
So what are Primark’s opening times, why do they have extended hours and what are the rules in store? Here’s all you need to know to shop safely as retail returns in England.
When are stores in England open?
Following Mr Johnson’s roadmap out of a third national lockdown, Primark reopened 161 stores in England and Wales on 12 April 2021.
It saw consumers queue outside in anticipation of getting their hands on new spring and summer ranges in freshly stocked stores.
To meet demand, Primark bosses decided to extend the opening hours of many of their stores in the first week of reopening after lockdown.
Some of Primark’s larger stores will open from 8am-10pm for the week of 12-18 April, with others staying open from 7am-8pm for shoppers.
Check your local Primark store’s opening hours.
Why has Primark extended its opening hours?
Primark maintains that the safety of its employees and customers remains its top priority.
Extending its opening hours will help reduce queues, spread demand and give customers more time to shop safely, Primark says.
Primark chief executive officer Paul Marchant said: “We are thrilled to open our doors today (12 April) and welcome customers back to Primark. We have been working really hard to get our stores ready to open safely; we are fully stocked with everything our customers have been waiting for, from fresh new season fashion to our great value, everyday must-haves, all at our amazing prices.
“Safety is our top priority for re-opening, and we ask our customers to continue supporting us and be mindful of our in-store measures, in particular if queuing outside and in-store.
“We are expecting a busy few days and have increased opening hours across our stores for the first week initially, to reduce queues and help meet demand safely.”
What other steps are being taken to keep people safe?
As well as extending its opening hours, Primark has installed a number of other protocols to keep staff and customers safe during the Covid pandemic.
The retailer’s safety measures include social distancing, a limit on the number of customers allowed in store, a requirement to wear face coverings in-store, hand sanitisation stations at store entrances, Perspex screens and cubicles at till points and increased in-store cleaning.
Changing rooms are allowed to open but must be carefully managed. This is because “the enclosed nature of fitting rooms may result in increased risk of transmission of Covid-19”, the government states.